detecting headphones

[8 Reasons] Why You Should use Metal Detecting Headphones?

why use headphones while metal detecting

Many hobbyists, especially beginners, don’t really understand how important metal detecting headphones really are. That was also my case at the beginning …

… In fact, I was thinking that all what I need is a machine and a site in which I could swing my coil. I’ve soon realized that, in addition to that, other accessories are needed including headphones.

In this Post, I list 8 relevant reasons that will hopefully convince you to start using headphones when metal detecting …

8 Reasons why you should use Headphones while Metal Detecting!

1. Ethic Code

Every good metal detectorist should follow the code of ethics for this hobby. One of the codes involves not disturbing anybody with the constant beeping noise that your detector gives off!

How would you like it if while you are hunting, someone comes and sets up their boom box and starts blasting loud music straight into your face? That would be downright rude, wouldn’t it?

The same goes for metal detecting. As per the Ethics Code, it is considered to be quite offensive and highly discourteous to hover around someone continuously and have your machine beep away at their face.

So wear headphones and keep others comfort in mind!

For more info, you can check the full list of detection code of ethics!

2. Clear Tones

One of the greatest benefits of using detecting headphones is that it allows you to pick up and better hear even those very faint and deep signals from a great depth. And even the targets that can not be detected easily.

Wearing headphones makes it easier to discern out even the smaller items that might be lying on the edge. It will also help you easily make out the different tones of different metals and you can identify whether it is worth digging there or not.

This increases your chances of finding something valuable. Wearing headphones also block out any distracting exterior sound such as the sound of waves at a beach, wind, and even animal sounds get muted …

… For example, when it comes to the Tones, I see that the Gray Ghost Amphibian (Check it Here on Amazon!) are probably the Best!

3. Battery

Another way in which wearing headphones, while metal detecting helps you, is financial!

If you are an avid hobbyist, then you must be having an economical streak within you and you are definitely aware of how quickly your detector goes out of batteries.

Wearing headphones will allow the batteries in your machine to last much longer! This happens because when you use headphones, their jack is of course plugged into the speaker, thus the latter gets turned off.

Consequently, no energy is required for driving the detector external speakers, thus, saving your batteries …

… Even with additional rechargeable batteries, it is always better to conserve your batteries as much as possible.

This will also help your device last longer when you are outside, away from a charging source …

… Also, it is always interesting to think about a machine that consume the battery with efficiency! One good example of that is the Fisher F22 (Check it Here on Amazon!)

4. Ability to Detect Underwater

Without wearing headphones, you would not be able to metal detect underwater! If you enjoy underwater metal detecting, then having the right pair of headphones is an essential requirement.

Wearing them while enjoying your hobby underwater will increase the signal clarity by sound-blocking and eliminating external environmental noises under the water!

Indeed, the noises could be reduced up to almost 24 decibels, depending on which metal detector you are actually using.

Some of the underwater headphones are also sold without a connector, allowing you to choose your own, or you can even hardwire the headphones directly into your detecting equipment.

Always opt for a padded headband on the headphone so that you remain comfortable regardless of how long you are underwater.

For more ideas, I encourage you to check these High Quality Detecting Waterproof Headphones! They can go up to 200 feet underwater …

… Also, you need to use a fully waterproof machine! The Minelab Equinox 800 (Check it Here on Amazon) is a very good example!

5. Detect in Different Conditions

Using a headphone while enjoying this hobby helps in different conditions!

Below few examples of conditions in which you can still use them:

  • If you are detecting in windy weather, then the headphones will cancel out the noise of the wind.
  • In rainy weather, it will cancel out the noise of the wind and rain falling.
  • Even the sound of running water can be canceled out.
  • There are some crazy hobbyists who love detecting during storms. It is beneficial as there high chances to find something valuable. Indeed, quality headphones will help you to significantly reduce the storm sound or even cancel it in some cases.

Any type of external or environmental sound can get canceled out by using good quality headphones. In some conditions, it can also be advantageous to use headphones that actually allow you to hear outside noises as well, for example in bear or snake country.

Even earbuds are perfectly acceptable, though you should opt for using earbuds in quieter locations.

BTW, if you are looking for machines that can work in most ground conditions, you can have a look at these detectors! Otherwise the AT Pro (Check it Here on Amazon!) is another notorious device among hobbyists …

6. If you have bad hearing

People who are suffering from progressive hearing loss or if you have bad hearing. Then using a headphone can help you hear the different tones from different metals much better.

This is particularly helpful for older people who practice this hobby on a daily basis! I mean we all know that older people tend to have bad hearing …

You should opt for buying headphones that come with volume control setting. So, you will be able to adjust to the right volume according to your preference.

If your hearing loss has progressed beyond a certain level, then you should ideally be using a hearing aid along with a headphone to get the best results.

This will ensure that the sound of the detector’s tones will be adjusted to suit your hearing loss. In this case, modifying the detector’s settings to single tone setup will also ensure that you don’t miss any good targets.


Using headphones will certainly help you FOCUS more on what you are doing as it cuts out any other external noise.

We all know that it is very easy to get distracted by other external noises! Even other people looking at you may distract you or even make you be uncomfortable … Actually, wearing reliable headphones will isolate all these sources of distraction …

… Thus, you will increase your chances of finding better targets. Not to mention that this will significantly discourage curious passer-byes from trying to talk to you.

8. Detect even deeper

A pair of good quality headphones will make all the difference between heading and finding a target and missing a target.

Wearing a good pair will help the audio response, allowing you to better hear the signals being sent from your machine.

You can judge a lot of things about whether the target is good or bad by hearing the signal tones being received by your detector.

A headphone together with the right machine will allow you to detect for items even deeper than your detector normally allows.

Additionally, as most machines do not show signals on the VDI screen … having a good headphone will make your detection even deeper as you will be able to hear the faintest of signals …

… For more info about these topic, I invite you to have a deep look at this article on how far underground can detectors go! You will learn a lot of helpful info …

Why should you opt for a quality Metal Detecting Headphone?

It is important that you invest in good headphones! Before buying a headphone, ensure that it matches your detector for either stereo or mono operation…

…There are many types and brands available in the market (Minelab, Grey Ghost …) , while some are only designed for use with some specific detectors.

When you use detecting headphones that have been specifically designed for metal detecting, then this will help increase the audio response and you will be able to hear the signals that are sent from your device in a far better manner.

A pair of good headphones will also provide you with a lot of information on whether your target is good or bad.

You can determine this by paying attention to the signal tones being received. These days it is also possible to convert your machine to function with a set of wireless headphones as well.

Always keep your budget in mind as a good pair can sometimes be a little bit costly.

Tips on choosing the right headphone…

Below few things you should look for while buying headphones for metal detecting:

  • How does it sound? Can you hear the targets sharp and clear? If not, then you should pass on the set and try another one. Different headphones are compatible with different metal detectors and different ears. There is no one proven guiding point to determine this. Some headphones will sound good to you personally, but they may sound different to other people. At the end of the day, your opinion is what counts the most …
  • Some detectors will allow you to change the pitch from high to low and vice versa. You should try out the different pitches with your machine to check which pitch sounds best. And also if it is as good as you hope …
  • Since people have a different response to frequencies, some like high pitched tones while some like low tones. The type of speaker you have wired to your headphone will make this sound differ quite a lot so choose according to your preference.
  • You should get a pair of headphones that make even the faintest of signals sound as clear as possible to your dominant ear. So if you could test them for deep targets underground or very small targets, then it would be a good thing.
  • Always check to see how adjustable the volume is. A good volume match will provide you the ability to fine-tune the sound from your detector with the volume control on your headphone as well. There are some products that even allow you to adjust the volume of each ear separately. Some people like to have only one, while others just prefer having two, one for each ear.
  • Make sure the headphones are able to block out all outside noises.
  • Try to make sure they are waterproof. Indeed, by doing so, you will be able to use them even in underwater.

Are Wireless headphones worth it?

As technology has advanced, it has also touched upon this hobby. Nowadays, the new technologies allow hobbyists to use wireless headphones which is cool!

BTW, I’ve put together a helpful Post about this Topic! Indeed, you can check these Wireless Detection Headphones! I’ve put some good pick in there!

In fact, when you use them, you no longer have to face the problem of having the pesky cable get into your way. This stops you from getting the cable snagged!

At the same time, the newest types of metal detectors (Equinox 800 for example) come equipped with a built-in wireless headphone capability.

While the earlier version of this either had standard Bluetooth, which was usually too slow and created a significant lag between the detection of a target and the actual audio response that could be heard in the headphones. This was bothersome for most people.

The best option for wireless headphones available now is aptX Low Latency Bluetooth (aptX LL Bluetooth). This is a fast enough system and most people are also satisfied with its speed. There are also many different choices available in the style of headphones you can buy.

Apart from Bluetooth, there are also systems that use a wireless transmitter and a wireless receiver. However, wireless headphones are still very expensive and most people prefer to use the old school version of headphones still due to the price difference.

Make sure that a specific headphone suits your Machine …

Before buying a new pair, you need to, first of all, ensure that it matches your machine. This is determined by the basis that some metal detectors operate in mono and some operate in stereo…

…So if you end up mismatching your headphones, then you will likely end up with audio only in one ear, or worse still, no audio at all.

For example, if you pair White’s DFX detector with a pair of Fisher Headphones, then you will come to know that these headphones do not work on the DFX!

Most detector headphones have a mono or stereo switch or are specially made in a manner to work either way.

The best option here is to only use headphones that can handle both options so that you can use them with any kind of machine.

After all, you never know when you might need to use your headphone with a different machine than the one you have right now. That’s also an advantage if you want to resale it later …


Honestly, this was a difficult topic to put together for me! I mean, as I said at the very beginning, using headphones, was pointless for me in my early days with this hobby. I thought it was just an additional accessory with no meaningful utility.

That’s why, after I’ve understood how important it is, I went that extra mile and I’ve chosen to brainstorm all relevant reasons that would convince you to consider using them …

… Hopefully, you’ve learnt new things!

Now, I would love to learn from you? Do you use headphones or not really? Either way, why so? Let me know in the comment section below, so other hobbyists will learn from your experience …

… For more metal detecting tips and tricks, please have a look at this detailed article! You will learn high value information!

About the Author

Carissa Harmer

Carissa is the huge metal detecting enthusiast that loves collecting coins. She is also highly interested in other treasure hunting activities like magnet fishing and gold prospecting/panning.